There is welcome news in Iran today as Hassan Rouhani Wins Landslide Victory in Iran over hardline religious conservative Ebrahim Raisi.

The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, has been re-elected in a landslide victory, endorsing his efforts to re-engage with the west and offer greater freedoms at home.

More than 41.2 million people voted out of 56 million who were eligible to do so. The two other lesser known candidates, Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim and Mostafa Hashemi-Taba, got 478,215 and 215,450 votes respectively.

“Hope prevailed over isolation,” the former president and key Rouhani ally Mohammad Khatami posted on Instagram, along with a photo of Rouhani making a victory sign, Reuters reported. Iran’s state television congratulated Rouhani on his re-election.

The incumbent saw off a strong challenge from Raisi, a fellow cleric with radically different politics who stirred up populist concerns about the sluggish economy, lambasted Rouhani for seeking foreign investment and appealed to religious conservatives.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, issued a statement addressed to the Iranian people in which he praised the “massive and epic” turnout.

“The winner of the elections is you, the Iranian people, and the Islamic establishment, which has managed to win the increasing trust of this big nation despite the enemies’ plot and effort,” he wrote.

Trita Parsi, of the National Iranian American council, said the results showed Iranians had chosen “a path of gradual transformation through peaceful participation”.

“President Rouhani’s convincing win is a sharp rebuke to Iran’s unelected institutions that were a significant brake on progress during his first term,” he said. “It is also a rebuke of Washington hawks who openly called for either a boycott of the vote, or for the hardline candidate Ebrahim Raisi to win in order to hasten a confrontation.”

Khamenei, a hardliner thought to have favoured Raisi in the election and as a possible successor for his own job, generally steers clear of daily politics but controls powerful bodies from the judiciary to the Revolutionary Guards.

The scale of voter turnout was the highest for many years.The governor of the northern province of Gilan was quoted as saying the turnout there was 80%. In Yazd, the home city of former reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, there was 91% participation.

Congratulations to Iran

Congratulations to Iran for voting against religious hardliners in favor of reform. If given a choice in free elections, people will vote for freedom against tyranny.

The Obama deal with Iran was the only major thing on the plus side that Obama delivered in eight years. Welcome promises such as closing the Guantánamo military prison in Cuba or getting US troops out of Afghanistan.

On January 22, 2009, his second day in office, he issued an executive order, directing that the prison be shut down within a year. When detainees got the news, they shouted to the guards, “Have you heard? We’re getting out of here!”

Guantánamo, which has held as many as seven hundred and seventy-nine prisoners, now houses just seventy-six. But it remains open, at a cost of $445 million last year—an expensive reminder that the United States, contrary to the ideals of its judicial system, is willing to hold people captive, perhaps for life, without a trial.

Iran Deal

In the election campaign Trump roundly criticized Obama’s deal with Iran, but as a practical matter The Week reported IRAN DEAL – Trump has decided to stick with Obama’s Iran deal — but with tougher ballistic missile sanctions.

On April 19, CNN reported When it comes to Iran, Trump and Obama aren’t yet looking much different.

As a candidate, President Donald Trump pulled no punches in his criticism of the Obama administration’s multilateral pact with Tehran to curb the Iranian nuclear program. The deal stank, he said then.

Now his secretary of state is, for the time being, certifying it.
“I’ve been doing deals for a long time, I’ve been making lots of wonderful deals — great deals — that’s what I do. Never, ever, ever in my life have I seen any transaction so incompetently negotiated as our deal with Iran. And I mean, never.”

When it comes to the Iran deal, Trump has, for the moment, changed. Blaring skepticism has given way to (yet another) pragmatic adjustment. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday delivered a letter to Congress confirming that Iran has kept up its end of the controversial bargain.

The letter pads what will be an unpopular conclusion among GOP hawks with word that Trump has ordered a review of plans to lift sanctions in accordance with the deal, citing the Iranian government’s ties to assorted terror groups. To follow through on the implicit threat would, ironically, put the US in defiance of the terms of the agreement.

Former Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, kidnapped by Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, in 1985 and held for nearly seven years, offered a pretty good preview.

“The Iranians aren’t at Trump’s beck and call, and they won’t be if he’s elected president,” Anderson told The New Yorker. “It’s so idiotic that I don’t know how to address it. One of the first things a president learns when he comes into office is that he can’t simply order things and make them happen — in our government, let alone anyone else’s.

On January 22, 2009, his second day in office, Obama issued an executive order closing the prison in Cuba in a year. It never happened. Similarly, Many of the things Trump campaigned for are unlikely to ever happen either.

Iran would actually be a better ally than our alleged ally Saudi Arabia. It was Saudi Nationals, not Iraqis, not Iranians behind 911.

Willful Blindness and Our Saudi ‘Friends’

The best writeup on Saudi involvement comes from the National Review: Willful Blindness and Our Saudi ‘Friends’

It is long, long past time — for the United States government to come clean with the American people, and with the families of Americans slaughtered on 9/11 by 19 jihadists, 15 of them Saudis. The government must disclose the 28 pages of the 2002 congressional report on the 9/11 attacks that it has shamefully withheld from the public for 14 years. Those pages outline Saudi complicity in the jihad.

It is nothing short of disgraceful that the Bush and Obama administrations, relying on the president’s constitutional authority over foreign intelligence and the conduct of foreign affairs, have concealed these materials. It is equally disgraceful that Congress has indulged this decision in the context of its own fact-finding exercise. This has been done under the pretense that the Saudi government is a stalwart counterterrorism ally of the United States — an absurd proposition that passes the laugh test only if one accepts the even more absurd premise that Islam has nothing to do with jihadist terrorism. The Saudis are the world’s chief propagator of sharia supremacism, sharia being the law of the Sunni kingdom.

Several Saudi connections to 9/11, as well as our government’s disturbing appearance of not wanting to know the depth of Saudi culpability, have been reported over the years. Let’s look at some of the main ones.

The article starts out slow, but goes into great detail the known involvement of Saudi officials in 911. I highly recommend reading the entire thing.

Other Coverage

ZeroHedge provides other coverage of Saudi involvement.

The 28 pages are under lock and key, no one is allowed to make notes of them or discuss them. The 28 pages are classified Top Secret although many believe president Obama should release them.

 

Wipe Israel off the Face of the Earth

In response to pro-Iran articles I typically receive nonsense comments about Iran threatening to wipe Israel off the map. House Speaker Paul Ryan has repeated such claims in the past as well.

In a totally disgusting Stance on War and Peace, House Speak Paul Ryan once stated in a debate that he would engage Iran militarily, in advance.

His rationale: “[Iran] is the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism. They’ve dedicated themselves to wiping an entire country off the map.

It’s a blatant lie, which Republicans often repeat.

For discussion of what Iran really said, please see Peace Must Be Stopped At Any Cost; Lies and Hypocrisy on Iran.

Here’s the short version: It was translation error.

Uncommon Sense From Patrick Buchanan

Patrick J. Buchanan talks of The Coming Clash With Iran.

Please read that article and again if it does not immediately ring a bell.

War Must Go On

The warmongers insist war must go on. If we don’t have an enemy, we need to create one to ensure perpetual war.

In the case of Iran, it appears that a rare case of sanity has prevailed, at least for now. Congratulations are due all around.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock